Transformational leadership take more courage than the usual one- sided leadership. In the world political arena, our heroes are often those who were able to reach beyond their own side, listen to the other, and stand for the whole. Think of Gandhi or King or Mandela – each quite consciously as a leader sought to lead, not just for his people, but for the whole. And each, as he contributed immensely to his people and the world, paid a heavy price – Mandela with twenty seven years in prison and Gandhi and King with their lives. In Mandela’s words “my hunger for the freedom of my own people became a hunger for the freedom of all people.”
As difficult and challenging as it may be, leading through conflict is exactly what the world needs now – not the large stage but in our work organisations and even in our families and personal lives.We need to cultivate the ability to stand up for what is important to us, at the same time to reach across differences and listen to others, and also at the same time to remember the whole: what is best for the family, for the business, for the nation and the world.
– William Ury